Did you know the name "vodka" derives from the Slavic word "voda"— meaning water?
The best selling vodka brand in the U.S. is Tito's Handmade Vodka, which is valued at $2.5 billion based on 2016 sales.
This inspired our sister data company, Foodable Labs, to further look into the vodka spirit segment to determine the best rated companies overall.
We looked at scores in the following categories: brand, flavor profile, and value. Let’s take a look at some of the top vodka spirits on our list.
Tito’s Vodka’s overall score ranked at No. 1 with “Value” being the highest ranking category.
According to research firm Beverage Marketing Corporation, is expected to sell 58 million bottles of Tito’s Handmade in 2017, as reported by “Forbes.”
Tito began making vodka as a hobby and would give away bottles to friends as Christmas gifts. He decided to make vodka his business after the real estate market collapsed in the 1990’s and he found himself without real direction.
Tito did what he had to do in order to open his own distillery in Austin, Texas and perfect his product, even if it meant sleeping on couches and getting $90,000 in debt. He made his first profit after his vodka won the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2001. Sales have increased ever since.
Ketel One’s overall score ranked at No. 2 with “Brand” being the highest ranking category.
The family company originates from Schiedam, Holland. The brand grew in popularity in America through word of mouth in the bartender community. The person responsible? Carolus Nolet.
Nolet had 17 years of distillery experience when he became in charge of the family legacy and sought out to expand their business abroad. He immerses himself in US cocktail culture and bar research and goes home decided to perfect the vodka spirit with the help of his great, great grandfather’s tasting notes.
What he achieved is the perfect vodka recipe that is great to drink neat, on ice and as a base for cocktails. The company describes it as crisp, clear and silky soft. He decided to name the vodka after the oldest, coal-fired copper pot still— Distilleerketel #1— which is still used at the distillery today.
Grey Goose’s overall score ranked at No. 3 with “Brand” being the highest ranking category.
This French brand prides itself on using the nation’s finest ingredients to create its famous spirit. The wheat used in each batch of Grey Goose® is grown on farms in and around the Picardy region of Northern France. The company claims that the wheat-grade quality is the same used in the finest French breads and pastries. Then, it is blended with spring water found in the Gensac-La-Pallue in the Cognac region of France.
The brand was launched by François Thibault, a cognac cellar master who decided to put his spirit-making skills to use to create vodka. People in the region were skeptical at first, but now Grey Goose vodka is enjoyed around the world.
The company describes its vodka as fresh with a floral aroma accented by a subtle citrus note on the nose. On the palate, the vodka starts out sweet and builds into a smooth and rounded texture with a hint of almond.